Tag Archives: Nigeria

#Cancer Control: The task before the next President of Nigeria

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Laz Ude Eze

Dr Laz Ude Eze

Last year, I met Mgborie (not real name), a 27 year old lawyer battling breast cancer and soliciting for funding support. The cancer was already in a late stage (Stage 4) and she was scheduled for surgery and radiotherapy having completed chemotherapy. She was the first child with six siblings all of whom were in school and had lost both parents. The family looked forward to her graduation to enable her secure a job and support the training of her younger ones. Four years earlier, she found a lump in her breast and went to a hospital where it was surgically removed. The lump reappeared 2 years later and was found to be cancerous. She battled the disease with hope of survival and lost the battle last year. If she was not living in Nigeria, she would have probably won the battle and still be alive. “Why”, you may ask, please find out in the subsequent paragraphs of this article.

Cancer is a disease which abnormal cells of the body divide uncontrollably and destroys the body tissue or organ. It may affect virtually every part of the body except the hair and nails. It is treatable and curable especially when detected early. According to the latest estimates by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the global burden of cancer rose to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. In Nigeria, more than 100,000 cases are diagnosed annually and over 90% of them die from the disease, thereby putting us in an ignominious position of being the country with the highest number of cancer deaths globally.

In fact, Nigeria is plagued by a triple whammy – a high burden of communicable diseases, a rising burden of non-communicable diseases and persistently high incidence of road traffic injuries. The health system is very weak and unable to meet most of the health needs of the citizens. The funding for the health sector has remained very poor and continuously decreasing especially in the past six years. Yet, the rising burden of diseases is an indication for a substantial and sustainable increase in public funding for health care.

Each year on 4 February, the global community commemorates the World Cancer Day to enable every one of us across the world to show support to people fighting cancer, raise our collective voice against the disease, take personal action and press our governments to do more on cancer control. This year’s is not an exception as government and civil society organisations have lined up activities to commemorate the day. Coincidentally, Nigerians will be going to the polls to elect a new set of leaders at the national and sub-national levels. It provides an opportunity for citizens to elect candidates with demonstrable commitment to prioritise health and improve access to qualitative screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Nigeria.

The essential ingredients required for cancer control are cancer awareness and early detection with prompt and effective treatment. To improve knowledge and understanding of cancer prevention practices, consistent public awareness must be created using multiple mass media platforms and inter-personal communication models. To prevent cancer, healthy diets, regular exercise and HPV & HBV vaccination must be promoted and made available and accessible to everyone who needs it. To detect cancer early, there must be a screening program for common cancers like breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer. For this to be successful there must be citizens’ awareness and education, available of a well-motivated skilled manpower and equipment and equitable distribution of both across the country. When cancer is detected, immediate commencement of qualitative treatment is required. For treatment to be qualitative, it must be done by a team of experts including oncologists, nutritionists, radiologists, clinical psychologists, etc; in a timely manner using well-maintained modern equipment and facilities. Do we have all these in Nigeria? Your guess is as good as mine.

Please permit me to quickly summarise the experience of most cancer patients in Nigeria. They usually present in late stages (more than 80%). The diagnostic tests are usually invasive and sometimes take months, delays caused by overcrowding of facilities, inability to pay for the tests or health workers strike. After confirmation of cancer diagnosis, the patient may go into the denial stage with utterances like “I reject it! It is not my portion!!” Many family members or friends would recommend a religious treatment centre for divine healing; others may recommend traditional medicine while a few may opt for orthodox medicine. While some who opted for miraculous or trado-medical healing may succeed, majority of them end up in hospitals in critical conditions.

More so, many of the people who went for the orthodox treatment option usually have gory tales arising from inability to pay out-of-pocket, long waiting time in health facilities, poor counseling services, rude behaviours of some care providers and frequent treatment interruptions caused by unavailability of some chemotherapy drugs, lack of or frequent breakdown of CT scan and radiotherapy machines, and health workers strike. The available treatment facilities are grossly inadequate. For example, the Pink Oak Cancer Trust paid for radiotherapy at the National Hospital Abuja for a cancer patient in November 2018 but she’s yet to be commenced on treatment due to a long queue of patients. There were only two functional radiotherapy centers in Nigeria in January 2019; more than 200 is needed for our population. Lobbying for treatment is at its peak. A patient told me she was going to the hospital every day by 7.00am and sometimes waited till 1.00am of the subsequent day in order to get treatment. “Horrific”, you may say but it’s only a tip of the iceberg.

Do you now realize why Mgborie died? Hers was a case of mismanagement. Had the doctor that removed her breast lump in 2014 done biopsy, the cancer might have been detected, treated and cured. When the lump recurred in 2016, the cancer had already spread to other parts of the body, prognosis poorer and a chance of survival was minimal.

How do we solve this problem? The approach to health care in Nigeria must shift from management of diseases to management of health. This is where the next set of political leaders has a big role to play. All levels of governance have a critical role to play in cancer control. The local government should be responsible for awareness creation and health education in communities. The state and federal government should work collaboratively to ensure availability and access to cancer screening services, well-motivated skilled manpower, chemotherapy drugs, equipment and maintenance of same and sustainable financing for cancer care.

According to Nigeria’s National Cancer Control Plan (2018-2022), an estimated sum of N97.3 billion is required to implement the plan. The next President must lead this effort by investing substantial public funds in cancer control and inspiring states and local government areas to do same. The office of the president is the most powerful office in the country and should be used to save the lives of the predominantly productive population that is being cut short by cancer. The next president should strengthen the six building blocks of the health system and create an enabling environment for a humongous private sector investment in health care including cancer control. Private sector investment can be encouraged through offer of tax incentives, loan facilities with low interest rates, health insurance coverage for cancer prevention and treatment services, and availability of uninterrupted power supply in such facilities. The governors should also replicate same in their respective states. Can the next President and Governors say this, “I am and I will” implement the above recommendations? In the efforts to beat cancer, everyone has a responsibility. I am and I will continue to play my part, what about you?

 

Dr Laz is a public health management expert, Producer of TalkHealth9ja and the Executive Director of the Pink Oak Cancer Trust – Nigeria’s 1st Cancer Treatment Fund. You may contact him through laz.eze@pinkoak.org. He tweets as @donlaz4u.

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President @MBuhari appoints 18 #NewPermSecs

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Using the hashtag #NewPermSecs, the following names were announced via @NGRPresident and @GarbaShehu as newly approved appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The New Permanent Secretaries

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

  1. Ayotunde Adesugba
  2. Alhaji Mahmoud Isa-Dutse
  3. Taiwo Abidogun
  4. Bukar Hassan
  5. Wakama Belema Asifieka
  6. Jalal Ahmad Arabi
  7. Sabiu Zakari
  8. Obiageli Phyllis Nwokedi
  9. Aminu Nabegu
  10. Bamgbose Olukunle Oladele
  11. Alo Williams Nwankwo
  12. Shehu Ahmed
  13. Ogbonnaya Innocent Kalu
  14. Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa
  15. Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa
  16. Bassey Apkanyung
  17. Louis Edozien
  18. Ugo Roy

Deployment of the Permanent Secretaries

  1. Dr. Shehu Ahmad     –        Fed. Min. of Agric & Rural Development
  2. Arch Sunday Echono   – . Fed. Min. of Communications
  3. Alh. Sabiu Zakari      –        Fed. Min. of Transportation
  4. Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba – Fed. Min. of Information & Culture
  5. Amb. Danjuma Sheni        – Fed. Min. of Defence
  6. Dr. Shade Yemi-Esan        –        Fed. Min. of Education
  7. Mrs. Fatima Mede             –       Budget & National Planning
  8. Alh. Mahmoud Isa Dutse – Fed. Min. of Finance
  9. Amb. Bulus Lolo      –        Fed. Min of Foreign Affairs
  10. Dr. Amina Shamaki         –        Fed. Min. of Health
  11. Mr. Aliyu Bisalla      -Fed. Min. of Industry, Trade & Investment
  12. Mr. Bassey Akpanyung    – Fed. Min. of Internal Affairs
  13. Mr. Taiwo Abidogun        – Fed. Ministry of Justice
  14. Dr. Habiba Lawal   –        Fed. Min. of Science & Tech.
  15. Dr. Clement Illoh    –        Fed. Min. of Labour & Productivity
  16. Dr. Jamila Shu’ara       –        Fed. Min of Petroleum Resources
  17. Mrs. Binta Bello                –        Fed. Min of Women Affairs
  18. Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye     –       Federal Capital Territory
  19. Mrs. Rabi Jimeta             –        Fed. Min. of Water Resources
  20. Dr. Bukar Hassan            –        Fed. Min of Environment
  21. Mrs. Wakama B. Asifieka – Fed. Min. of Niger Delta Affairs
  22. Mr. Istifanus Fuktur       –        Fed. Min. of Solid Minerals
  23. Mr. Christian Ohaa          –        Fed. Min of Youth & Sports
  24. Engr. A.G. Magaji            –        Fed. Min. of Works & Housing
  25. Mr. Louis Edozien – Fed. Min. of Power
  26. Mr. Jalal Arabi – State House
  27. Mr. Mohammed Bukar – General Services Office, OSGF
  28. Mr. Abbas Mohammed – Ecological Fund Office, OSGF
  29. Dr. Ugo Roy – Council Secretariat
  30. Mr. Aminu Nabegu – Special Services Office, OSGF
  31. Amb. Bamgbose Akindele – Political Affairs Office, OSGF
  32. Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo – Economic Affairs Office, OSGF
  33. Mrs. Obiageli Nwokedi – Special Duties Office, OSGF
  34. Mr. Innocent Ogbonnaya -Career Management Office, OHCSF
  35. Mr. S.K.Y. Adelakun – Common Services Office, OHCSF
  36. Mrs. N. Batagarawa – Service Policy & Strategies Office, OHCSF

#FellowshipConnect: @JointInitiative Launches Foreign Internship Program for Youths

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“Joint Initiative for Development (JID) is a registered Non-Profit organisation in Nigeria. In over 4 years of our existence, JID has reached over 3,000 young people through our programmes, supported over 300 MSMEs and mobilized over 10 million Naira worth of donations to public schools. Our mission is to increase citizens’ participation in the development of their communities and we take active steps to create programmes and events through which these goals can be achieved.

In light of proposed diversification of the Nigerian Economy towards the real sector, I am pleased to introduce our Fellowship Connect Program. Fellowship Connect is an international human capacity development program that is designed to connect young Nigerian professionals working in the real sector of the economy with Corporate America in a bid to bridge capacity gaps. Fellows will have the opportunity to work with top US firms for a period of between 3-6 months. We also have arrangements for shorter periods too.

The Fellowship Connect candidates will go through a comprehensive application process that will ensure a best-fit match for both the host organization and the intending Fellows. At the end of the fellowship, Fellows will:
•Transfer knowledge gained during the fellowship period
•Develop new practices
•Share new skills and valuable work experience.
•Promote innovation and change in home organization
•Develop professional skill set and refine others
•create a network of global change-makers
•Work locally but think globally

Applications will open on 2nd October 2015 for interested applicants/organisations and the programme will start in February 2016.”

Signed:

Kayode Ajayi-Smith

Executive Director,

Joint Initiative for Development

Websites: http://www.ji4d.org, http://www.internshipconnect.net
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JIDNigeria
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter/jointinitiative

We are also shaping the future the soccer way, please visit:

Websites: http://www.futball4future.com,
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Futball4Future

David Nnaji’s BEDLAM & Afolayan’s OCTOBER 1 Selected for Woodpecker International Film Festival

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David Nnaji’s directorial film debut “Bedlam” has been selected, alongside Biyi Bandele and Kunle Afolanyan’s Half of a Yellow Sun and October 1 for a special screening in the World Panorama section of 3rd Woodpecker International Film Festival.BEDLAM POSTER

The 3rd Woodpecker International Film Festival is scheduled for September 17‐20, 2015 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi, India. “It’s for the first time that a serious attempt is being made to bring Nigerian cinema to the Indian audience.

Other selected Nigerian films include ‘Brothers’ directed by Azubuike Erinugha ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ by Desmond Elliot; ‘Thy Will Be Done’ by Obi Emenloye; ‘Doll House’ by Kayode Peters; ‘Silent Tears,’ a documentary by Ishaya Bako; and ‘Champagne’ by Emem Isong.

Synopsis: A career driven young man abandons his family for work. His determination for success had a negative effect on his relationship with his spouse relentlessly. She had to take a drastic measure to make him realise that family values are much more important than pursuing his profession.

WATCH BEDLAM TRAILER HERE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7evkFHEy7bo&feature=youtu.be

Twitter& Instagram

@DUN_ENT
@IAmDavidNnaji1

 Facebook
www.facebook.com/DUNEntertainment
www.facebook.com/BedlamMovie

#HAPPYdonorNG: Why should I Donate Blood? See More Q & A on Blood Donation!

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happy donorQ.Why Should I Donate Blood?
The need for blood affects us all. Eight out of ten people need blood or blood products at some time in our lives. One out of every ten patients in hospital requires blood transfusion. The number of blood donations that patients receive depends on their medical condition. Although an average of three donations is transfused to a patient, some patients require many more. Blood is in constant demand for the treatment of patients involved in accidents, patients with cancer, leukemia or with a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia among others. Many surgical operations would not be possible without the availability of blood. Blood may be needed during or following childbirth or for an exchange transfusion in newborn babies. The need for blood never stops. Blood donors save lives. Every blood donation gives the person who receives it a new chance at life.

Q. Are There Any Risks?
There are no risks when donating blood. A finger prick test is performed in order to ascertain if your haemoglobin level is within a safe range for donation purposes. In addition, your pulse rate and blood pressure will also be checked.
Potential donors will be permitted to donate only if these measurements are within the defined, acceptable range. If everything is in order you will proceed to donate your blood.
Your body replaces the blood volume (plasma) donated within 24 hours. Red blood cells are replaced by the bone marrow into the circulatory system within three to four weeks, while the lost iron is replaced over approximately six to eight weeks.

Q. Can one be infected through equipment?
No, Certainly not. You cannot get HIV or any other infectious disease by giving blood. The materials used for your blood donation, including the needle, blood bags, tubes and finger prick needle are new, sterile and disposable. These are used only once for your blood donation, dumped in a specialised waste container and incinerated.

Q. Can HIV be spread through blood donation?
Strict procedures are in place to ensure that donors act responsibly when pledging their support by donating blood. These measures ensure that they are not donating blood as a way of getting free HIV/AIDS test, but for the sole purpose of helping to save lives.
The commitment of our blood donors ensures the safety of blood supply. NBTS attempts to encourage donors to give blood for purely altruistic reasons. People who participate in unsafe lifestyle behaviour such as casual sex, male-to-male sex or taking intravenous drugs are advised not to donate blood.
Donors who deliberately donate to spread the HIV only incur more operational costs for NBTS. These costs are incurred in the form of collection of blood, storage, transportation and testing, ultimately, be discarded. It is also the donor’s responsibility to be honest when donating blood. However NBTS uses a Nucleid Acid Implification Technology (NAT) that detect the HIV 6 – 11 days from the day of infection.

Q. Why should I donate?
Donating a unit of this “precious gift of life” saves lives of those in dire need of blood. One must develop a habit of donating blood in order that National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) has sufficient blood stock to ensure that in cases of emergency quality blood is always available for needy patients.

Q. Is there anything special I need to do before donating?
Eat at your regular mealtimes and drink plenty of fluid before you donate blood. Have a snack at least four hours before you donate, but do not eat too much right before the donation. Before you leave the blood donor clinic after your blood donation, have some tea, coffee or a soft drink to help replace the blood volume (approximately 480 ml) which has been reduced as a result of your donation. Avoid taking aspirin or aspirin-like anti-inflammatory medication in the 72 hours prior to your donation, because aspirin inhibits the function of blood platelets. If you have taken aspirin within this period, your blood platelet component cannot be transfused to a patient.

Q. What is the procedure when I donate blood?
Firstly, you will be asked to provide personal details such as your name, address, age, weight, ID number and / or date of birth. A medical history is taken by means of a written questionnaire.

These questions are designed to ascertain that it is medically safe for you to donate blood and that the recipient of your blood will not be harmed in any way. In addition, very personal questions relating to your social behaviour are asked to ascertain that you are not an individual at increased risk of potentially transmitting infection through transfusion. People are asked to exclude themselves from blood donation if any of the exclusion criteria apply to them.

A finger prick test is performed in order to ascertain if your haemoglobin level is within a safe range for donation purposes. In addition, your pulse rate and blood pressure will also be checked. Potential donors will be permitted to donate only if these measurements are within the defined, acceptable range. If everything is in order you will proceed to donate your blood.

Q. How long does the donation take?
The procedure, which is performed by a trained, skilled nurse, takes approximately 30 minutes. You will give about 480ml of blood, after which you will be advised to remain on the donor bed for a few minutes longer while having some refreshments. Plan to spend about half an hour to an hour at the blood clinic for the entire process, depending on the size of the clinic and the number of donors.

Q. Does the needle hurt the entire time?
No. There may be a little sting when the needle is inserted, but there should be no pain whatsoever during the rest of the donation.

Q. How long will it take my body to replenish the donated blood?
Your body replaces the blood volume (plasma) within 24 hours. Red blood cells are replaced by the bone marrow into the circulatory system within about three to four weeks, while the lost iron is replaced over approximately six to eight weeks.

Q. How will I feel after the donation?
Most people feel great! Donors who know what to expect and have eaten regular meals, or have had a snack and fluids before donating, are usually fine. Most people who donate blood have no after-effect. Drink extra fluids four hours following your donation. A small number of people feel light-headed and others occasionally faint after donating.

In the unlikely event that you feel faint, be sure to quickly lie completely flat. Lying flat, even if on the floor, with your legs elevated, will usually resolve any feelings of dizziness or light-headedness quite quickly and may prevent fainting. In the event that you do not feel well after a blood donation, please contact the staff at your nearest blood donor centre.

Q. Can I donate during my menstrual period?
Yes, if you are feeling well.

Q. How soon after donating can I participate in sport?
After donation, it’s best to have a snack and drink plenty of fluids over the next four hours. You can then resume routine sporting or training activity. It is advisable not to donate blood three to four weeks before participating in a major sporting event such as the Comrades Marathon, or a competitive rugby or soccer match, where you intend to push yourself to the limit of your ability.

In the unlikely event that you do feel faint, light-headed or unwell during any sporting activities, the standard good advice is to immediately stop the activity and rest. Many active sports people are active blood donors. Sportsmen who frequently push themselves to their limit during their sporting activities should consider donating only platelets. In this situation the red blood cells are returned to the donor after the donation and the individual’s oxygen-carrying capacity and performance aren’t compromised.

Q. How often can I donate blood?
You may donate either whole blood or a specific blood component such as blood platelets. Each type of donation requires a certain waiting period before you can give again. After a whole blood donation, a person must wait at least 56 days before donating again.

This makes six donations a year quite possible. Most people can comfortably give four donations per year. Women of childbearing age are advised to give no more than four donations per year. Platelet donors are able to donate as often as once a month (12 times per year), while dedicated whole blood donors can even fit in seven donations every second year.

Q. Is it possible to get AIDS from donating blood?
No, certainly not! You cannot get Aids or any other infectious disease by giving blood. This is a commonly asked question, especially among young people, who have heard of the link between HIV and blood. The materials used for your blood donation, including the needle, bag, tubes and finger prick needle are new, sterile and disposable. These are used only once for your blood donation and then destroyed after use.

Q. What is a “unit” of blood?
A unit is about 480ml of donated blood. The average adult has between four and five litres of blood in his or her body, and can easily spare one unit.

Q. Why Nigerians Should Donate Blood?
Nigerians are often reluctant to donate blood voluntarily. But there are good health implications of doing so Former Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, last week, lamented that only 1,130,000, units of blood are collected annually through the various types of donations as against 1,336,000 estimates of blood units needed by Nigerians to survive. That deficit, according to him, has resulted in numerous preventable deaths especially among women and children and people living with certain diseases. “In Nigeria, we are currently faced with a situation, whereby 60 per cent of all blood donations are from commercial donors, 30 per cent from family replacement and only 10 per cent are from voluntary donors”, he said.

Chukwu who made this disclosure on the occasion of the 2012 World Blood Donor Day, added that deaths associated with lack of blood can be avoided if only two per cent of Nigerian adult population committed themselves to regular voluntary non- remunerated blood donation. We join the health minister in the call for Nigerians to voluntarily donate blood.

According to medical practitioners, those who need blood transfusion include victims who have been involved in road accident and have lost blood, patients going for surgery and those with blood disorder, like sickle cell anaemia. There are also patients whose blood don’t clot (hereditary bleeding disease e. g. haemophilia) as well as children whose blood cells have been depleted by malaria. Cancer patients also use lots of blood as well as do those with burns. Women on ante-natal or about to deliver a baby use lots of blood while statistics have indeed revealed that women use at least 53 per cent of the blood that is collected, men only use 47 per cent. Also, with the increase in the wave of terrorism, bomb blasts, suicide bombing, etc., there is now a serious demand for blood to treat emergency cases.

Source: National Blood Transfusion Services Blood Donor FAQ

[#Nghlth15] 18 Promises! How President @MBuhari intends to Improve Health in #Nigeria

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Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Earlier today, Muhammadu Buhari took oath of office to lead Nigeria for the second time. Below were the 18 promises President Buhari and his party – @APCNigeria made on how they intend to improve health in Nigeria during his tenure.

PROMISE 1
Prioritise the reduction of the infant mortality rate substantially; reduce maternal mortality rates to the levels acceptable by the World Health Organisation; reduce HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases drastically and improve life expectancy by an additional 10 years on average through our National Healthy Living program.

PROMISE 2
Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000 through deliberate medication education as epitomize by nations such as Ghana. I will increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50,000 (from the less than N10,000 currently).

PROMISE 3
Increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world class standard by 2019.

PROMISE 4
Invest in cutting edge technology such as telemedicine in all major health centers in the country through partnership programmes with communities and the private sector.

PROMISE 5
Provide free ante-natal care for pregnant women; free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged; and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

PROMISE 6
Boost the local manufacture of pharmaceuticals and make non adulterated drugs readily available.

PROMISE 7
Set an effective prosecution and punishment systems, for those importing or adulterating drugs in the country.

PROMISE 8
The enhancement of the Epidemiological Units / Centres for Disease Control to meet up with Global standards in containment of disease outbreaks, proper vaccine storage and research.

PROMISE 9
Create an Insurance Policy for our Journalists as the nation faces hard times and our Journalists faces more dangers in the discharge of their investigative work, to educate Nigerians in their rights and responsibilities.

PROMISE 10
Provide universal basic health care with N500 annual contribution per family in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

PROMISE 11
Immediately increase the proportion of Federal spending on healthcare from 5.5% to 10%, with the aim of bringing it to 15% by 2020

PROMISE 12
Build a network of local and mobile clinics providing free health services and drugs, with the aim of ensuring that no Nigerian lives further than 5km from a free clinic.

PROMISE 13
Improve life expectancy through a grassroots National Healthy Living Programmes

PROMISE 14
Implement the National Health Act 2014, which guarantees financial sustainability to the health sector and minimum basic health care for all and ban medical tourism by government officials.

PROMISE 15
Launch special programme to improve availability of water and sanitation.

PROMISE 16
Review occupational health laws and immediately commence enforcement of the provisions to reduce hazards in the work place.

PROMISE 17
Unveil a health sector review policy to ensure the efficient and effective management of our health systems

PROMISE 18
Mobilize the health workforce needed for the all round implementation of our primary health programmes for rural communities.

Source: buharimeter.ng

Credit to @BudgITng